Rapporteur: Sir Peter Lloyd (United Kingdom)

Approved by the Inter-Parliamentary Council at its 161st session
(Cairo, 16 September 1997)


1. The Committee to Monitor the Situation in Cyprus held its XIIIth session in Cairo from Friday, 12 September, to Sunday, 14 September 1997. The following took part in the session: Mr. H. Kemppainen (Finland), President, Mr. J. Baumel (France), Vice-Chairman, Sir Peter Lloyd (United Kingdom), Mrs. Y. Loza (Egypt), and Mr. S. Pattison (Ireland). Mr. L. McLeay (Australia) was unable to take part in the session.

2. The Committee re-elected Mr. H. Kemppainen and Mr. J. Baumel, as Chairman and Vice-Chaiman, respectively.

3. The Committee examined developments in the situation in and regarding Cyprus since April 1997, the date of its latest report on the issue to the IPU Council. To this end, following its previous practice, it examined information received in writing and held three hearings.

4. The Committee heard separately on Friday, 12 September 1997:

  • For the Greek Cypriot side: Mr. N. Anastasiades, (DISY), Deputy Speaker of the Parliament of the Republic of Cyprus and Leader of the Cypriot delegation to the 98th Inter-Parliamentary Conference, and Mr. A. Philippou, MP (AKEL), member of the delegation;
  • For the Turkish Cypriot side: Mr. H. Atun (Democratic Party), Mr. I. Kûçûk (National Unity Party), Mr. A. Kasif (Democratic Party), Mr. F. S. Soyer (Republican Turkish Party) and Mr. H. Angölemli (Communal Liberation Party).

5. According to its practice, the Committee heard jointly, also on 12 September 1997, the following representatives of the Parliaments of the three Guarantor Powers established by the Treaty of Guarantee of 1960:

  • For Greece: Mr. N. Stavrakakis (PASOK), member of the National Assembly and Leader of the Greek delegation to the 98th Inter-Parliamentary Conference, and Mrs. A. Benaki (New Democracy Party), member of the National Assembly;
  • For Turkey: Mr. I. Köksalan (Motherland Party), member of the Grand National Assembly, President of the National Group and Leader of the delegation of Turkey to the 98th Inter-Parliamentary Conference;
  • For the United Kingdom: Mr. D. Marshall (Labour Party), member of the House of Commons, President of the National Group and Leader of the United Kingdom delegation to the 98th Inter-Parliamentary Conference.

6. The Committee had before it memoranda presented by the representatives of the two Communities on developments in and regarding Cyprus since April 1997, letters from leaders of various political parties, memoranda submitted by the representatives of the three Guarantor Powers on developments in and regarding Cyprus since April 1997, and information on the good offices mission of the United Nations Secretary-General concerning Cyprus and on developments in connection with the request for accession by the Republic of Cyprus to the European Union.


7. The developments in the last fourteen months or so in the situation regarding Cyprus and on the island itself, including the increased military build-up, had seriously alarmed the international community. This had prompted it to reiterate in the strongest fashion that the status quo in Cyprus has consequences detrimental to both Communities and entails a serious threat, particularly since the exasperation among the population on the island could well degenerate into further tragic events as in 1996. Against this background, in April 1997, the IPU had strongly urged the Leaders of the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot Communities to come to the negotiating table. The Committee thus welcomes the meetings held by the two Leaders since the previous session of the IPU Council, under the auspices of the United Nations: from 9 to 13 July in Troutbeck (United States of America) and from 11 to 16 August in Glion-sur-Montreux (Switzerland).

8. From the information available on these talks, it appears that the UN Secretary-General, in order to ensure substantive progress, endeavoured to inject fresh impetus to the talks.

9. While limited in substantive outcome, the talks in Troutbeck developed and concluded in a positive atmosphere. They were in fact immediately followed, in Cyprus itself, by two fruitful meetings of the two Leaders on humanitarian matters, more especially the sensitive issue of the missing persons: an agreement regarding the release of information on the places of burial of a number of missing persons was reached. In contrast, the talks in Glion opened against the background of both the negative reaction by the Turkish Cypriot side and Turkey to a section of "Agenda 2000" of the European Union (released in July 1997), which refers to the opening of the accession negotiations process with the Republic of Cyprus, and the negative reaction of the Greek Cypriot side and of Greece to the signing, on 6 August, of an agreement between Turkey and the so-called "Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus" to establish an Association Council:

  • "Agenda 2000" states : "The timetable agreed for accession negotiations to start with Cyprus means that they could start before a political settlement is reached. The Union shares the views expressed by the UN Secretary-General, that this decision to open negotiations should be seen as a positive development which could promote the search for a political settlement. (...) If progress towards a settlement is not made before the negotiations are due to begin, they should be opened with the government of the Republic of Cyprus as the only authority recognised by international law." The Committee finds it worth recalling in that connection that the IPU has consistently urged the EU, and all mediators in the Cyprus issue, to ensure that their efforts dovetailed with those of the UN and that it also shared the UN Secretary-General's hopes that the accession negotiations of Cyprus to the EU could facilitate the settlement of the Cyprus issue.
  • The Committee also finds it helpful to recall that the Turkish Cypriot side and Turkey have consistently argued that the Treaty of Guarantee of 1960 makes a settlement of the Cyprus issue a prerequisite for Cyprus's EU membership and that such membership could only come about once both Greece and Turkey are members of the EU. On 25 July 1997, the Turkish Government conveyed to the United Nations a legal opinion prepared by a British jurist to support that interpretation.
  • The Turkish Cypriot side told the Committee that "the Association Council agreement is nothing beyond a legitimate self-defence mechanism established in the face of the Greek Cypriot attempt to impose its will on the Turkish Cypriot side through EU membership, which is unfortunately being encouraged by the words and deeds of the European Union itself".

10. While welcoming the fact that both parties agreed to take part in the talks in Glion-sur-Montreux, the Committee can only note that no positive steps were possible on that occasion. As far as the Cyprus problem is concerned, the very inauspicious timing of the release and wording of "Agenda 2000" clearly had a negative impact on the talks.

11. The Committee also notes that, after the presentation of the report on the Glion talks to the Security Council, the President of that body, UK Ambassador Sir John Weston, commented as follows: "I need also to reflect to you that there was some concern and disappointment that further substantive progress at this time was impeded by the attempt to bring preconditions to the table by the other party, and here of course I mean the Turkish Cypriots". That comment again raised strong protests from that particular side and Turkey.

12. The Committee wishes, however, to note that the Special Adviser of the UN Secretary-General described the talks as having been "useful". The fact that the two Leaders have agreed to hold another meeting in Cyprus on humanitarian issues shows that, as stated after the Glion talks by the Special Adviser, the two Leaders remain committed to achieving a political settlement. In welcoming this prospect, the Committee hopes that the meeting will take place soon as the IPU is convinced, as it has repeatedly emphasised, that advances on humanitarian issues are keys to progress in the Cyprus issue. Such advances, even if limited, and the ensuing actual implementation of the measures decided, are essential for generating mutual confidence and progress on those issues where a considerable gap persists between the positions of both sides.

13. The Committee also finds hope in information that the contacts between leaders and representatives of the political parties have continued, at least before the Glion talks, and are expected to be resumed in September at the Ledra Palace. It welcomes the constructive approach that appears to have marked these sessions. It regrets, however, that the suggestion by the IPU Council that the parties should hold a joint meeting in parallel to the direct talks between the two Leaders so as to serve as a sounding board for the talks did not materialise. It feels convinced that this would have usefully supported and eased the process. It wishes to recall that the IPU has always considered the political parties to be "important partners in the search for a negotiated settlement in Cyprus since they relay the full range of views and feelings of civil society in an organised way to the political arena".

14. The Committee is also heartened by reports that contacts at the level of civil society have improved in the last few months, even if obstacles still remain in the way and a number of regrettable difficulties and incidents were observed in connection with the Peace Concert organised by the UN on 19 May and also in connection with pilgrimages organised on either side and regarding the state of places of worship. As already mentioned on a number of occasions, it is hopeful that initiatives by civil society in search of a settlement of the Cyprus issue - particularly initiatives from the chambers of commerce, professional organisations and trade unions, in addition to non-governmental organisations - may in fact grow in number without obstacles and hindrances being placed in their way.

15. The Committee also wishes to mention at this point the constructive atmosphere that marked a social function hosted at Cairo by Mrs. Y. Loza, one of its members, with the participation of Greek and Turkish Cypriots together with representatives of Greece, Turkey and the United Kingdom, and welcomes her initiative to repeat this in the future.

16. The Committee remains very concerned that not an iota of progress was made with regard to the progressive withdrawal of Turkish troops from Northern Cyprus, which remains a priority demand of the international community.

17. The Committee is also very concerned about the latest developments regarding the issue of the Russian S-300 anti-aircraft missiles acquired by the Republic of Cyprus earlier this year, a matter referred to in its previous report to the IPU Council.

18. While the Government of the Republic of Cyprus alleges that the missiles were acquired for purely defensive purposes and would not be deployed before 18 months, the Turkish Cypriots and Turkey allege that they may in fact be used offensively and threaten the security not only of Northern Cyprus but also of Southern Turkey. Lately the Turkish Government has ordered the search of boats suspected to be carrying missile components that sail through the Bosphorus; it also extended the existing embargo on Turkish ports for all boats based in the Republic of Cyprus. The Turkish Prime Minister further made statements threatening that the division of the island could become permanent should the missiles be deployed and Cyprus join the EU before Turkey and prior to a settlement.

19. These statements prompt the Committee to recall very firmly that the only framework for the settlement of the Cyprus issue is that defined by the United Nations: a State of Cyprus with a single sovereignty and international personality and a single citizenship, with its independence and territorial integrity safeguarded, and comprising two politically equal communities as described in the relevant Security Council resolutions, in a bi-communal and bi-zonal federation, and such a settlement must exclude union in whole or in part with any other country or any form of partition or secession.


20. In the light of the foregoing, the Committee wishes to invite the IPU Council:

a) To welcome the holding of the talks in Troutbeck and Glion-sur-Montreux, which per se are a very positive move, and also to welcome the UN Secretary-General's renewed and successful initiatives in that connection and encourage him in his sustained efforts regarding the Cyprus issue.

b) To reiterate its call to the EU that it co-operate closely with the UN Secretary-General, and to invite all Parliaments from EU member States and the European Parliament to do their utmost to encourage, facilitate and support such co-operation. To make a similar call with regard to all mediators in the Cyprus issue.

c) To welcome the holding of meetings, in Cyprus itself, of the two Leaders regarding humanitarian issues, and encourage them to strengthen their constructive dialogue in that respect as one of the most effective ways of generating the confidence essential to progress. In that context, to urge the two Leaders to make progress regarding, in particular, the relaxing of restrictions on crossing the buffer zone and inter-communal contacts (including postal and telephone contacts) and joint activities and initiatives at the level of civil society.

d) Once again to encourage political parties to pursue and develop their practice of holding joint meetings, at regular and short intervals, and consistently support through them the efforts of the two Leaders in their search for a negotiated settlement.

e) To welcome recent progress made with regard to contacts at the level of civil society and once again encourage civil society - particularly the chambers of commerce, professional organisations and trade unions in addition to non-governmental organisations - in any initiatives aimed at easing the settlement of the Cyprus issue, developed within the context of the United Nations framework for such a settlement, and to urge UNIFICYP to offer increased assistance in that respect.

f) To express its serious concern at the renewed escalation of tension in and regarding Cyprus since July 1997, and to sound the alarm in the face of the serious security threats, for both Cyprus and the region, entailed in the current volatile situation. To exhort the two Leaders and other interested parties to exert all of their wisdom in order to prevent the population on the island, who are living under permanent tension, from being exposed to further tragic events. To express the hope that the forthcoming presidential elections in the Republic of Cyprus will serve as an opportunity for identifying constructive proposals for the settlement of the Cyprus issue.

g) To repeat that every efforts should be made to secure the progressive demilitarisation of the island and, with this in mind:

  • To repeat its call on Turkey to abide by UN and IPU resolutions demanding the withdrawal of its troops from northern Cyprus and to refrain from upgrading its military presence there;
  • Again to urge the Government of the Republic of Cyprus to reverse its decision to purchase and deploy within a few months the S-300 anti-aircraft missiles and to refrain from any further acquisition of armaments, in order to ease the way to a politically negotiated settlement.

h) Once again to encourage the development of military dialogue under the auspices of the general commanding the United Nations Forces in Cyprus.

i) To repeat that the only framework for the settlement of the Cyprus issue is the one defined by the United Nations.

Monitoring the situation in Cyprus | Home page | Main areas of activity | Structure and functioning